tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 1, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT
>> larry: we have posted angelina jolie's call for aid on our blog. pearl jam and the dixie chicks are among the guests tomorrow night and johnny depp makes an appearance. we'll be talking about the west memphis three. right now "ac 360" and anderson cooper. anderson? thanks for joining us. tonight, president obama declares the combat mission over in iraq. the real question, though, what his direction will be going forward in iraq, afghanistan, of course, here at home. did we get any answers tonight? we'll talk about that with david gergen, peter gergen, fareed zakaria, paul begala, and a lot more. also, growing fear and opposition to a mosque in the buckle of the bible belt, growing fears within the mosque. worshippers now afraid of their neighbors in some cases, and the fear is growing. local muslims getting police protection after an apparent arson attack. we'll ask a leading opponent of the mosque why she thinks her
neighbors have been practicing islam in the area for decades should not be allowed to build a new place of worship. we'll hear from a member of the congregation. a late update on earl, still a category 4 monster, heading for the east coast. we could know more about it, when and where it's going to hit, and we'll bring that to you first. but we begin tonight, keeping them honest. with efforts to stop a mosque, not talking about a proposed mosque in islamic center two blocks from ground zero here in new york, but a mosque in murfreesboro, tennessee. muslims in the town have asked federal agents to be on site during services after the fbi says it has reason to believe that someone deliberately burned construction vehicles this weekend on the planned site of the islamic center of murfreesboro. a spokeswoman for the mosque says they're scared. >> it's very hard to explain to children what's going on. it's very hard to explain to the little kids when they ask, are these people for or against us, it's really taking a toll on the community. >> well, there's been a mosque in murfreesboro, one form or
another, for 30 years and a spokeswoman says the existing one is simply too small. this is what they got approval to build, where the suspected arson took place this weekend, that's the plan. a ball field, playground, burial ground, walking paths and a mosque. 95% of the money to build it is from donations. for the opposition, people have defaced and destroyed signs of the mosque, they've rallied against it. the message, you can see on the sign says "not welcome" and now, what appears to be arson. during a recent 700 club segment titled megamosque nation, pat robertson singled out the center, he's not in favor of cities stopping churches from being built or other restrictions on freedom of religion, but he says this isn't really about religion. >> mark my word, if they start brings thousands and thousands of muslims into that relatively rural area, the next thing you know, they're going to be taking over the city council. then they're going to be having an ordinance that calls for
public prayer five times a day, then they're going to be having ordinances that they'll have be facilities for foot washing in all public rest rooms and all of the airport facilities, et cetera, et cetera, and before long, they're going to demand, demand, demand, demand and little by little the citizens of murfreesboro are going come be cowed. >> mr. robertson goes on to warn against muslims' ability to, quote, bribe folks to bribe or buy influence. i don't know if anyone's getting a pay-off, he adds, but it is entirely possible. the imagery is of strange others infiltrating, invading somehow subverting the heartland. laurie cardoa-moore uses similar terms. in the same segment she offers this explanation of why muslims in murfreesboro want to expand their mosque. quote, you have bible book publishers, you have christian book publishers. you have christian music headquartered here. the radical islamic extremists
are fighting crusaders and see this as the capital of the crusaders. laurie cardoza-moore. on the 700 club earlier this month, as i said, she's a spokeswoman for the murfreesboro mosque opposition. i spoke to her earlier tonight. i want to show viewers something you said at a demonstration here in new york. >> in tennessee, like in many communities, we are witnessing a rise of radical islamic groups who are bent on building these compounds to further their radical agenda, many local and county officials across the nation are being fooled into believing these are just religious structures for worship. >> this mosque in murfreesboro, tennessee, what evidence do you have the imam, who has condemned hamas to the christian broadcasting network and hezbollah, to a vast majority of muslims who practiced there for years and years, what evidence do you have that they are recruiting or fomenting terror? >> in the past there hasn't been a problem. but, anderson with the recent
statement by rawash on his myspace page gives rise to huge concern in our community. >> again, which he was removed from the board for and then investigated apparently by the mosque. i don't know the details of that. but what -- what is on somebody's -- what is on somebody's myspace page, what they -- i don't know -- we don't know details, who put it on there, they say he was investigated by the mosque, you say he's still being investigated. that's somebody who is on the board of this thing. what evidence do you have that this mosque is somehow -- how many people have they converted to radical islam and sent overseas to foment terror? >> i think there's a lapse in judgment by the leadership to implement a board member or to reinstate a board member who made statements like that to kill jews. if they are trying to bring peace, and this is the religion of peace, that doesn't sound like the religion of peace to me, i'm sorry. it's a threat to the community not just the jewish community or the christian community, it's
the muslim community, too. >> so can muslims be good citizens? >> of course. there are many muslims who are good citizens. my concern is not with the good citizens. mine is those who are pursuing a radical agenda. >> why not pursue those who are pursuing a radical agenda and allow them to have a mosque where they can -- and allow the vast majority of the population in your town to have a mosque where they can worship? >> we don't have a problem with that. >> so you don't have a problem with a mosque being built? what i'm saying is, why not allow a mosque to be built and go after specific individuals if you have evidence against them? >> not if they have board members tied to radical extremist groups. >> so why don't you gather evidence against that board member and allow the mosque itself -- >> we have. we have gathered evidence and rutherford county sheriff's department, homeland security, fbi are continuing to conduct the investigation. >> so what should muslims in murfreesboro, tennessee, do to worship? i mean, if -- if they can't
build the mosques that they want, what are you telling them to do? >> they have -- anderson, they have a mosque. nobody's saying that they can't -- >> they say they don't -- they are saying they don't have enough room and they would like to expand their mosque. >> that's fine. but you know something? there's got to be -- there has to be some due diligence done on the associations and the ties of the leaders. that is what we're calling into question. we've done the research and now we want to -- we're asking questions, why was this guy reinstated, why was he on their board in the first place with -- if he has moderate views? >> your sole opposition to the mosque is the fact this board member had something on his myspace page? >> yes. his myspace page and the doctor for teaching at a mosque in irving, texas, that is under investigation for terrorist-related activities. >> so, now there's two reasons why you're opposed to this mosque. one, because the imam of this mosque used to preach at another mosque that you say is under
investigation and -- and because a board member had something on his myspace page? >> yes. most certainly. >> that's -- that's it? >> that's enough. that is enough. it's not about their religion. it never has been. it's about stopping advancement of radical islam in the united states of america and in our community. >> laurie cardoza-moore. appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. some strong allegations about the mosque imam and one of its board members there. right after we finished taping the interview we made call. we got in touch with a local reporter covering the story. he confirms the board member in question was investigated by the fbi because allegations about statements on a myspace page. no charges were brought and he was reinstated by the mosque. we contacted the fbi about the allegation a mosque in irving, texas, where the murfreesboro imam was one a visiting cleric is or was under investigation by the fbi for terrorism-related activities. she said it currently is under investigation. the source we spoke to was unaware of the allegations about
the mosque in irving, was not aware of what miss cardoza-moore was talking. joining us is a spokeswoman for the murfreesboro islamic center. thanks for being with us. what do you make of what she says? she's saying that your mosque is sort of a hotbed of extremism, that a member of your board -- first of all, let's start with the member of your board. why was he reinstated as a member of the board if there were questions about the myspace page? >> i wanted to understand, we took those allegations very seriously. we did suspend him from many privileges. you know, at the mosque. we turned this over to local and federal authorities, he was cleared by both, local and federal authorities, and so therefore he was reinstated. >> do you know what it was on the myspace page? she was saying he was making statements against jews and about jihad. >> she -- a lot of her allegations are incorrect. i'm not sure exactly what was on his myspace page. it was deleted right after he
was accused of these things because he was so worried about his reputation. she set out to slander him, i do believe. the fbi, though, and local authorities investigated his myspace page thoroughly and found absolutely no links to terrorism. >> she also says that the imam at your mosque was once a visiting professor at a mosque in irving, texas, that she claims is still under fbi investigation. our source of the fbi says they don't know what she's talking about. who -- is your imam -- my understanding is that he has renounced hamas and hezbollah. off camera to the christian broadcasting network. where in the spectrum of islam does he stand? how -- is he radical? >> he is absolutely not radical. he comes from cairo, egypt. he attended the university in cairo -- >> which, by the way, a prestigious university. she says it's a hotbed of anti-semitism and anti-americanism. >> yeah. it's a very prestigious university. it could be compared with harvard in the united states.
a lot of her allegations are completely false. he is one of the most respected members in our community. he absolutely does not condone -- he does not approve of any type of terrorist activity. like i said, he's one of the most respected members in our community. >> how long has this mosque, has your mosque, been in operation in murfreesboro? >> we've had members here for almost 30 years. and for her to jump in and start making accusations, it's completely ludicrous. >> in the 30 years you've had members and the current location you've been how long? >> we've been in the current location since the mid '90s. >> so, whether it's at your current location or -- i mean in your history, 30-year history in in this town, have you had good relations with the people in murfreesboro? >> we've had wonderful relationships with all of our neighbors in murfreesboro. to me, it seems like she's the extremist at this point.
she's the one going around the united states, lobbying against islamic centers throughout all of the united states. it's not just ones in murfreesboro. so to me, she's the one who is terrorizing our community. she's trying to plant doubt and fear within our community. since she's began the campaign it seems as though it's working with some of those. but you know, i have to point out that murfreesboro is such a great place. a lot of times within the media you see opposition. but the amount of support that we've received is tremendous. this really has been a dark cloud but it has a huge, huge, silver lining. and we're so thankful to everyone who supported us. >> you saw the thing on pat robertson, saying that you wanted to build a big mosque and bring in thousands of muslims, i'm not sure from where, who will take over city council and cow the people of murfreesboro. why do you want a bigger mosque? >> right now our current facility is 2,200 square foot, anderson. it cannot accommodate. we have over 1,000 members.
we have 250 families but when you add in children and wives, it's over a thousand members. you cannot squeeze us into that facility anymore. we're kind of packed in there. we're not trying to build a megamosque, either. when we submitted plans to the city what we tried to do is share our vision of the future with the city. the actual first phase one is around 6,800 square foot. that's very small in comparison with a lot of local churches there. >> in terms of where this goes from here, i mean, you've asked for police protection. are you getting police protection now at the site? >> we are getting police protection. i think it's sad we have to ask for police protection. we're the ones that's being terrorized and she's the one accusing us of having terrorist activities. to set someone -- go ahead. >> the other thing she says, at some point someone in your mosque was handing out pamphlets made out by the muslim brotherhood which is a radical islamic organization which is
outlawed in egypt, where it was born, but is popular in egypt and elsewhere. i mean, are you affiliated with the muslim brotherhood in any way? >> we're not affiliated with anyone. the comment she made is a lie, to be honest with you. >> there was no pamphlet being handed out, produced by -- >> i can say 100% that's a lie. >> in terms of where -- people who are, you know, she's making allegations with a broad brush about islam. where are you in the spectrum, what branch of islam are you? what are you practicing? >> we practice islam. i'm not really clear on your question. >> i'm sorry. are you sunni, shia? >> sunni. >> okay, sunni. what happens now? you're got an approval to build this. are you going to build this despite, you know, what's going on? >> absolutely. like i said, the supporters behind us far outnumber those who are opposed to us. we feel very good about our neighbors. we feel good they're trying to
support us. and we don't want to focus on the negativity of those who try to become vigilantes and take the law into their hands and set fire to equipment and threaten us, things like that. so, absolutely plan on moving forward. >> i've got to go. final question, the funding for this, you say on your website, 95% of it is coming from local residents. the opposition says, you know, many mosques in the united states get funding from saudi arabia. are you receiving international funding, will you, and if so, will you be transparent where your funding comes from? >> we're completely transparent. we have an open door policy. we invite anyone with questions or concerns come to us. 95% -- probably 98% of all funding comes from within our congregation. since all this started up, we did start accepting donations from the united states only. we're being very, very careful about where donations are coming from. so absolutely, completely transparent. >> camie ayash, appreciate you being on. thanks very much. >> thank you so much. >> let us know what you think. join the live chat under way at
ac360.com. up next, we're going continue the conversation with our panel and bring you the stunning results of a new poll on how many americans believe president obama sympathizes with islamic fundamentalists. plans for iraq going forward. did he give any clear signals of that tonight? we'll play the president's speech and talk to the panel. we're waiting for a late update on hurricane earl. chad meyers will bring it to us the moment it comes in. be right back. everyone who wans to go to college and everyone who started college but never finished... to late bloomers... full-time moms... and everyone who is good at something but wants to be great. welcome to kaplan university. the university that's changing the face of education... to undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees... degrees that can give you a leg up... in a tough job market... in any job market... welcome. welcome to kaplan university. call kaplan university now or visit us on-line to take our free learning assessment.
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we've got late breaking election news. a week after the primary, lisa murkowski is conceding in a close primary between her and sarah palin-backed challenger joe miller. both the mosque story and the presidential address. a striking new polling numbers. "newsweek" did a survey, 7% of americans believe the president sympathizes with islamic fundamentalists.
among republicans, however, the number's higher, 14% say that's definitely true. 38% say it's probably true that he sympathizes. 33% of republicans believe it's probably not true. 7% say it's definitely not true the president of the united states of america sympathize with islamic fundamentalists. let's bring in fareed zakaria, david gergen, former bush spokesman, ari fleischer and democratic strategist, paul begala. what do you make of this? couldn't the results be another way of people who don't like the president expressing disapproval or do you really think the numbers mean that the people -- the president of the united states supports sharia law? >> i think it's the former, not the latter. i think it's a republican thing, that's why i don't understand it. when you break it out by party it turns out, for example, one of the questions "newsweek" asked, you think the president favors are muslim americans or has he been even handed with all americans? 59% say he favors muslims but 62% of independents say, no, no, he's been even handed.
set the democrats aside. they're going to love anything obama does. this is no the what independent americans think at all and it's not certainly what democrats think. it's just a republican thing. they could believe -- i think they should have asked do you believe the president was complicit in the murder of elvis presley, and they would have say, sure, he killed elvis. >> you think it's a republican thing? >> i think paul's point is why nobody should take it seriously, it's a political thing. i lived on the other side when the liberal democrat base used to say more things about george bush. if you took a poll at height of push's unpopularity and said do you think he's un-american, the overwhelming majority of the democratic party would have said yes. this is our political strife these days from the sides of both parties. it makes sense, the independents don't buy into it. both parties have their vociferous wins. i don't think it should be taken literally. it should be taken as an element of the politicization of all our debates. >> david, do you buy that? is this nature of politics or is there something about president obama and what at least republicans of the country see? >> i think it has to do with president obama, it has more to do with 9/11 and the fear of
terrorism. it's a fever. and we go through these periodic fevers. if you go back to the presidency of harry truman with dean atchison as secretary of state widespread view of the country that harry truman and atchison were sympathetic. when nixon first ran for office against douglas, he argued she was pink down to her underwear. that sort of conversation has been in american discourse for a long time, and the fevers come and go. we've got another one now. >> david is right. this is part of the paranoid style of american politics, there is a kind of fever. however what is different with this, compared to the attitude towards bush, ari is right, the attitude is harry truman is, there is a racial and religious tinge here, perhaps more than a tinge. and that's very unsettling for a country that celebrates diversity to have, you know, to be characterizing obama would not be characterized by this way
if he were an elderly, white gentleman. >> so -- is this a way of talking about -- expressing racial concerns without talking about race? >> i think it's a way of making him seem other, seem foreign, seem untrustworthy, seem somehow you know, not part of mainstream america. >> but it works in both directions, again. with bush, again, being a fundamentalist christian, there are many people, again the democrat left predominantly who said he's not tolerant, he's not open, he's not accepting, he's not smart. he's just simple. and so it does work in both directions. >> i think that there's a -- that in this country of all countries to have this be layered with race and religion is very harmful. >> i agree with that, fareed, but it is true some people want to make him seem like other. but there are times when he contributes to it himself. >> talking on the mosque issue, should he have spoken on that? >> i thought he should but in contrast to his philadelphia
speech on race or i thought superb during the campaign, empathized with views of people different from his. in the case of the mosque i thought he showed no understanding of people who objected to the mosque where it was. we're not anti-muslim. you can be pro muslim and still have problems where that mosque is going to be put in new york. >> interesting to see if any of the people, newt gingrichs, sarah palins of the world will come out in favor of the mosque in tennessee, which is thousands of miles from ground zero. >> i agree with that. i agree with that. >> and they will be opposed to every mosque in the country. >> but you do when you have 60% of americans who are troubled where the mosque was going to go, they're not anti-muslim. this country's very tolerant. there are pockets like murfreesboro where the fever has struck. >> but in that case, the president uniquely has a responsibility to defend the constitution. >> he also -- >> the first amendment of the bill of rights pertains -- >> it's not only argument about that. there were other arguments. as opposed to the philadelphia
speech, where i thought he really understand people who did not think like he did. i did not think he showed understanding about different perspectives. >> but that is not a license to then start painting him as some kind of weird, dark-faced foreigner who actually secretly sympathizes with al qaeda. >> you just said that probably sarah palin and newt gingrich oppose every mosque in this country. you're doing it on the show, too. >> sure. but i will lay this down on the show. if they will come out in favor of the construction of a new mosque anywhere in the country, i will be impressed. i have not -- >> what you said you think they oppose every mosque in the country. >> every new mosque. let me amend it and be clear of what i'm saying. i'm saying if the problem is you don't want a new mosque next to 9/11, what about the one in tennessee? what about the one in texas? what about the one in california? there are protests against all of those that have been funded, organized and supported by many of the people who are supporting -- who are against the mosque.
>> we heard from the woman in murfreesboro, the muslim woman that there are a lot of people in murfreesboro who favor what they're doing. she's impressed by the outpouring of support. i say most americans have been embracing of the muslim religion. most americans have been tolerant. and george w. bush himself spoke out. >> it's interesting now that there is this -- >> the president has a special responsibility to stand up for individual rights and minority rights when they were -- when they are placed under the pressure by majority suspicions. >> but there are not just the rights of the muslims. there are also rights of the families who lost loved ones. there are other rights involved here. there are other -- >> what are the rights? >> that's why -- >> that's why the mosque at ground zero is unique. >> what's that? >> are those questions asked of any preacher setting up any other house of religion in the country? >> would the pope after a big controversy of -- >> there's no question that they have the right to do it. >> he had a right to do it, put the catholic convent in auschwitz but the pope said it's not a good idea.
>> more on the politics up in alaska about lisa murkowski conceding, joe miller is the candidate for alaska. we're going to dig deeper on the republican side, at least, on what president obama said about the mission in iraq, afghanistan, tough times here at home. as soon as they come in, new data on where hurricane earl is headed. a monster storm now. where on the east coast the cat 4 storm could hit. details from chad ahead. coming up, hurricane earl
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coming up, hurricane earl takes a dangerous turn, mandatory evacuations order for portions of north carolina, as the cat 4 storm whips toward the east coast. federal emergency teams in place, we're told, bracing for the worst. chad meyers joins us with an update from the national hurricane center that will be shortly. first, tonight's other important stories. the "360 bulletin." >> anderson, rough weather in the gulf is delaying bp's efforts to kill the damaged oil well. officials planned to replace a blowout preventer. a crucial step in permanently sealing the well. however, according to authorities, winds may ease by the weekend for work to continue. in chile, the drilling is under way in the effort to reach those 33 miners trapped since early august. the men are surviving on supplies funneled in from above. according to medic, tomorrow's
menu will include rice and beef, their first hot meal in three weeks. zsa zsa gabor rushed to the hospital this morning after her husband found her unresponsive. the 93-year-old has suffered a series of setbacks following complications from hip surgery. a spokesman for gabor's daughter says doctors told her the situation is not life threatening. and in las vegas, drug charges filed against paris hilton, prosecutors say a bundle of cocaine fell out of her purse after a traffic stop over the weekend. according to the police report, she says she thought it was -- anderson, she thought it was chewing gum. >> really? are you serious? >> here's the thing. people are thinking that the chewing gum detail in the story is like the juiciest element, get it, juicy, gum? moving on, they think it's the juiciest element of the report. but it actually isn't. what struck me was the fact that it says in the report it's when
paris asked for her purse to be handed to her, so she could put lip balm on, that's when the cop says he -- >> when it fell out. >> that's when it allegedly fell out. here's my thing, a police report with lip balm and allegations of cocaine they thought was chewing gum, like a plot from a bad british soap. >> a bad -- that's true. we'll check in with you later. a bundle of cocaine. what were they thinking? president obama declares operation iraqi freedom over. his speech marking a milestone. what it means for the country. our panel returns. breaking news out of alaska lisa murkowski conceding defeat to joe miller, the palin-backed candidate. we'll talk about that with ari fleischer and paul begala. breaking news on hurricane earl, officials ordering mandatory evacuations as a big storm, massive storm, takes aim at the carolinas. chad myers has the latest ahead. but never finished... to late bloomers... full-time moms... and everyone who is good at something but wants to be great. welcome to kaplan university.
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president's speech. ari, a sign of the power of sarah palin for the endorsement. >> this is actually good news for the republicans, now that it's finally over. it's a shock that lisa murkowski lost but now it's a unified field. alaska's safe territory for republicans. it will be a seat republicans are going to win. >> sarah palin, though, paul, now i think 5 for 5 in this last round? >> oh, i think she's lost a few and won a few. but, first, congratulations to her. good for her. congratulations to mr. miller who won an unlikely upset there. the interesting thing politically about alaska, alaska gets $1.84 from washington for each dollar it sends down there. it's a welfare state. it gets more from the rest of the state. though it's on an ocean of oil, and i was okay with that because they kept re-electing ted stevens, the late senator who was chairman of the appropriations committee and king of pork. now, the republicans have nominated a guy who says he doesn't want anymore federal spending. it's good news for the other 49 because we can bring that money home.
we don't need to spend any more money in alaska. they're swimming in oil. now they'll nominate a candidate who doesn't want any more federal money. i say amen. how about we bring the money home to the other 49 states who might use it? >> president obama spoke about the need for money tonight. maybe he'll be listening to you, paul. he also spoke about the end of the combat mission in iraq and the president's speech. let's play some of what the president said tonight. >> so tonight, i'm announcing that the american combat mission in iraq has ended. "operation iraqi freedom" is over, and the iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country. this was my pledge to the american people as a candidate for this office. last february, i announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of iraq while redoubling efforts to strengthen iraq's security forces and support its government and people. that's what we've done. we've removed nearly 100,000 u.s. troops from iraq. we've closed or transferred to the iraqis hundreds of bases.
we moved millions of pieces of equipment out of iraq. going forward, a transitional force of u.s. troops will remain in iraq with a different mission, advising, assisting iraq's security forces, supporting iraqi troops in targeted counterterrorism missions, and protecting our civilians. consistent with our agreement with the iraqi government, all u.s. troops will leave by the end of next year. >> out of iraq by the end of next year, that was the promise from president obama. he said the combat missions over but america can and will provide for the iraqi people as a friend and partner. you were working for george w. bush. i was curious to what you thought, as you listened to this. not a great speech but an historic moment. >> my first thought 7 1/2 years ago i was in the oval office when the president gave a speech committing us to iraq, and it's appropriate. americans don't like to commit troops abroad. when we do, we want to win and we want to come home. i think president bush is the
one because of the surge. nep december of 2008, if you remember when the shoe was thrown at him, that was the announcement of the security agreement with the iraqi government to bring troops home at the end of 2011. the day had to come. i'm glad the day was able to come and president obama gave a speech where he could thank the troops who also made this possible, who deserve all of the credit for making it possible. >> do you think he should have said more about president bush? >> it would have been gracious of him if he mentioned the surge but the problem he has, for president obama to put president bush, iraq and anything good in the same sentence, the democrat base, which doesn't want to show up in november, so -- i wish he was more gracious but it but he's his own democratic comparative and he followed those tonight. >> paul, what do you think about the speech? >> first, he was trying to do three different things say we're going withdraw from iraq, surge into afghanistan, but withdraw from there, too, and i want to pick up on the point about the
surge because it is staggering to me. first off, the surge was only necessary because bush, dick cheney and donald rumsfeld went to war with too few troops because he wanted to prove the general wrong. that's why we did it in the first place. second it could never have preceding sunni awakening iraqis themselves had to decide. it wasn't that americans surges and that cured it. it was the sunni awakening. but i'll make a deal with president bush. we'll give you all of the credit for the surge if you take half of the blame for the lies that got us into the war by which i mean iraq -- excuse me, ari, by which i mean -- >> no, paul -- >> saying iraq was an imminent threat to america, by saying it was a mushroom cloud it could become a smoking gun. the threat of up manned aerial drones that saddam hussein had that were going to come and gas america, the connections that they alleged which were false,
between al qaeda and saddam's regime. so, you know, there was so much they got wrong about this, some of it, just botched and some of it was deeply dishonest and the notion that somehow bush is owed any moment of grace is appalling to the history. >> neither you nor anybody else, including your old boss, bill clinton, challenged bush when he said that because the intelligence they saw led them to the same conclusion. >> you know they didn't see -- >> first off -- >> you didn't see the intelligence. this is the night president obama said thanks to the military, our troops are coming home. i was gracious enough to praise president obama for saying that. it's an appropriate moment for the country to bring them home. for you to say president bush lied about this, paul, that is exactly the type of divisiveness we're trying it move beyond in this country when you know as well as i do he followed the intelligence he was given from the cia. >> he manipulated and cherry picked the intelligence as did mr. cheney and mr. rums and that's why 2,427 americans are dead. >> nothing to cherry pick. that's everything we needed to know. >> when dick cheney said, that's saddam has long-established ties
with al qaeda, the evidence is overwhelming, the iraq study group said no that wasn't true the 911 commission report said saddam had ties to al qaeda. >> the commission report -- >> it said they weren't operational. our point of view is never let them become operational. >> this is the thing, he was no threat to america. ari, himself -- >> you're changing the tune because you recognizing the 9/11 report agreed with what bush said. >> they said there were no operational links. there were none. >> that's right. we didn't want them to become one. >> we don't want canada to have operational lipgs either. how about we have operation canadian freedom? no, look, this was from the beginning, it was a war of choice, it was mr. bush's choice, and it was a tragic choice. 4,427 americans are dead. 35,000 americans are wounded, plus those suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder plus those suffering from traumatic brain injury. this is a catastrophe for america. a catastrophe for our armed services who serve with heroism.
for mr. fleisher to expect a pat on the back for his old boss george bush, it's appalling. as in texas we said it's chutzpah. >> paul's view, we're better off and safer off if saddam was still running iraq. >> and 4,427 would alive. >> paul, every time anybody loses their life in the military, our nation suffers for it. any one individual anywhere. but the point is we now have a new iraq and a iraq that has a chance to become a bastion of freedom and hopefully an iraq that can change the arab middle east so it's a peaceful area where wars don't start. that's what iraq gives us a chance to do. that's why i hope now with the 50,000 remaining troops we will be successful and don't lose the peace in iraq which is now -- >> we have a diminished america, a depleted america. we have a divided america. we have tragically military cemeteries filling up, a hell of a price to pay to get rid of a guy who was no threat to america. >> no threat to america? >> zero.
>> i want to bring in our other panelists. just a quick break. we're going to have an update on hurricane earl, category 4 storm, where it may make landfall. details from chad meyers. but aleve can last 12 hours. 8 hou. and aleve was proven to work better on pain than tylenol 8 hour. so why am i still thinking about this? how are you? good, how are you? [ male announcer ] aleve. proven better on pain. thank you for calling usa prime credit. my name is...peggy. what is problem, please? peggy? sure...well...suddenly it looks like i'm being charged
>> the president tonight saying let's turn the page. >> the -- president obama promised he was going to bring troops home in this way, he kept his promise, he deserves credit for that. beyond that anderson, i must say i was troubled by the speech because i felt that, in looking forward, not back, looking forward, the president did not define what the mission is in iraq or in afghanistan, and it sounds dangerously as if what's important is deadline, not success. i had hoped we would be leaving when we left iraq and when we leave afghanistan we will leave more stable countries, more stable governments. i didn't hear that tonight. i didn't hear about success. i heard about we're getting the heck out of here, over to you. >> peter bergen, 51 people kill in iraq last week, in attacks by al qaeda and other affiliated groups. also in afghanistan a tough road ahead. the stability of both those places, how do you see it? >> neither are good. picking up on something david said, i thought it was
interesting, the president used the phrase conditions based about afghanistan. very, very significant disagreements that continue to exist between the u.s. military and the political sides of the white house. >> he's saying next july we'll start reducing troops but based on conditions on the ground. >> right. and everybody can take whatever they want from that. it's not a definition of what david was saying, you know, some kind of vision of what afghanistan should look like or might look like. it's just a way of papering over significant disagreements that continue to exist about what we're doing in afghanistan, how long we'll be there. >> john mccain's point is you're undercutting -- john mccain who places the increase in the number of troops going to afghanistan but says you're undercutting that by setting a withdrawal date, whether it's conditions based or not. >> yeah. on the other hand i think that obama approaches this very much the way dwight eisenhower approached foreign entanglements. he thought it was important the united states assert itself, the united states military assert
itself but there's got to be a sense of constraints, of the costs, the limits to military involvement. eisenhower was careful not to engage in open-ended commitments but about grand transformation of the war. i think obama and secretary gates have explicitly praised eisenhower for this. so i think his caution, david gergen is not hearing church bells ringing in this obama speech, but that is -- that is barack obama. he's very much -- it's odd, he's a hard-headed realist from the eisenhower/nixon/kissinger school and does not believe the role of the u.s. military is to write a blank check to afghanistan for the next 25 years. >> eisenhower believed if you commit the troops you commit to when. >> he didn't. >> he did not believe -- >> he basically found a way of getting out of korea -- >> he didn't commit the troop on korea. he was not the one who sent them in there. very careful where he went in but he was always about we need
victory, we need to stand up. >> both these wars began before him. he is trying to in effect manage them responsibly without creating open-ended engagement. i think it is irresponsible, in fact, it is quite responsible for a president to draw some lines. >> the reason we set a date in iraq to come out now was we said if we set a deadline it would force iraqis, encourage iraqis to form their government and be self-sufficient. >> that was -- >> that deadline has not worked. >> that was bush for the surge. >> this was barack obama's argument for pulling out now. if you set a deadline, things were going to happen. it's not clear if you set deadlines -- >> stay in iraq another ten years while the sunnis and shias find the ideal coalition government that they're going to come on, i don't believe that is dependent on u.s. troops. that is dependent on visionary leadership in iraq that might exist with american troops.
it might exist without american troops. assuming that the united states can somehow orchestrate, you know, a wonderful, modern liberal democratic iraq, i'm not sure that's true. >> i don't think that's true. but you would like to think that we are going to leave with a stable iraq. if our commitment -- we're only staying around for a deadline, that's it. we're going to help you, over to you, you're in charge now. >> david, it strikes me that that's a high number. by the way, there is no distinction between combat and noncombat troops. they can do whatever the president asks them to do. >> we have to leave it there. good discussion. thank you very much. breaking news, new information about hurricane earl heading for the east coast. time for the labor day weekend. chad meyers has a live update.
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breaking news tonight. hurricane earl, a cat 4 storm barreling toward the east coast, mandatory evacuations for portions of the north carolina coast as officials brace for the one-two punch of high winds and surging floodwaters. the latest from chad myers, our meteorologist in atlanta. >> huge waves, too, anderson. also the threat of rip currents, up and down the east coast really putting all swimmers in danger wednesday, thursday, and friday. by saturday, it gets better but still waves out there. this is a large and dangerous storm. here are the turks and caicos, which are south of the bahamas. here's florida, it's already here, and a large storm. no effect at all on haiti. great news there. the people there don't need a shower, a rain shower. there's haiti, way down here. no effect on that island nation to the west of the dominican republic. still the same forecast for the track. for the next few days, the forecast has not changed.
still a minimal category 4. 115 knots, 135 miles per hour, that's just a couple miles per hour in the category 4, so a large 3, small 4 depending on your point of view. but the cone of uncertainty or the cone of possibility still through parts of the east coast, still brushing past the carolina coast, possibly even passing through cape cod. most of the track is east of there. most of the potential is east. certainly 85% chance of this storm missing the east coast altogether, at least the eye. but 15% chance that it does go far enough left that it could hit. the problem is, this is a large storm. you can't just focus on the eye. there's going to be rain, wind, currents, the rip currents, of course, and waves, waves with the storm are 30 feet out in the middle of the ocean. imagine waves crashing on shore anywhere in the carolinas, even up to 15 feet, that will wash a lot of sand away, there will be beach erosion and certainly a lot of the beach erosion will come with those waves that could
pull swimmers out to sea. if you're going to out there for the weekend, obviously labor day weekend, stay at the pool. >> chad, i've hit 43, and my eyes are gone. the writing on that looks small. when are people in the east coast going to start to notice heavy winds, rain? >> the closest approach for north carolina happens thursday night, friday morning. it's friday afternoon for new york city. but still 200 miles away. and for saturday for nova scotia. so it moves quickly. >> chad, appreciate it. a lot more at the top of the hour, starting with a mosque. we'll be right back.
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